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Instant Death (2017) Directed by Ara Paiaya




Bet no one ever expected to see Lou Ferrigno show up in a low-budget British action-flick, let alone in the lead role. Lou Ferrigno of course is a pretty iconic action-star but I wish I could say he's a great actor as well or that this movie is a great one.

One of the things that immediately becomes obvious is that this just isn't much of a quality movie, to put it mildly. It's low-budget is very apparent, not just with the action but also the overall look and feel of the movie. The sound and picture quality is quite dreadful, as is the editing and directing approach.

There is never really a good flow to things. The story doesn't progress naturally, which is also mainly because it's devoid of any sort of good emotions and convincing enough characters and developments that you can feel for. It's even somewhat of a sloppy movie, when it comes down to the pace and overall storytelling, which too often results in some laughable bad moments as well.

And well, lets be fair; Lou Ferrigno has never been a great actor. So why on Earth would you ever give him a lead role in a movie, that features a fair amount of dialog in it as well. Sure, he's charismatic enough, even know that he's well in his 60's but charisma can only get you that far. He just isn't the most convincing or likable hero in this movie, that requires lots of psychical work but some acting abilities as well.

Just see this movie as another cheap "Taken" of "John Wick" knockoff. And really, nothing wrong with some simple- and even unoriginal action from time to time, as long as the movie still offers plenty of entertainment and is put well together as an action-flick. Neither is the case for this movie unfortunately. It just never becomes much fun to watch, not even when the action kicks in and it's never a very pleasant movie to look at neither, due to the way how it's handled by the director and limited resources at hand.

It's actually pretty odd how this movie takes the longest time to turn into a revenge flick. Normally these type of movies kick right into gear and don't waste any time with its buildup but in this case the action doesn't truly start until the movie is nearly over already.

And all of this obviously is a real shame. The action itself remains far from the worst aspect about this movie. It's some pretty brutal and straightforward stuff, that surely would have been great to watch in any other genre movie but just because everything else in this movie feels so lacking, the action fails to make a true impression.

So really, even if you're really into low-budget and simplistic action-flicks this one still really isn't worth your time.

3/10

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Savage Dog (2017) Directed by Jesse V. Johnson




This movie made me realize how fun it actually can be to still watch a B-flick from time to time. You normally would think of the '80's when it comes down to fun and simplistic action-flicks but in all truth there actually still are plenty of capable directors and actors out there that make some pretty decent genre movies, with as an only different that these type of movies immediately disappear into obscurity after release, due to the ever changing market.

Having said all that; no, of course this isn't a great movie. It even isn't really a good one to be perfectly honest but I definitely got an '80's vibe from it and it was pretty fun to watch, when ignoring most of the flaws and weaknesses. My guess is that this movie was heavily inspired by Arnold Schwarzenegger's "Commando" in terms of story, action and even its music. But luckily it's not just another lazy knockoff. There's plenty of originality in the story, though there still isn't much story to begin with, to be honest.

The movie is a bit of an odd mix of martial arts- and gun fights & explosions action. I have to say I was liking the movie better when it was just being a stupid and simple martial arts flicks, though at the same time I also still have to say that the all of the other is pretty decent as well to look at. It's just that Scott Adkins is so much better and more convincing when doing fight scenes. It's actually a bit of a shame how he isn't a well known- and much appreciated actor by now. Sure, he's very well known in certain circles, and in a way that's fine but the large portion of the more mainstream public has still yet to meet Scott Adkins.

All of the fight scenes are pretty well choreographed by director Jesse V. Johnson, who's a stunt coordinator and performer himself. It's of course pretty silly to watch a couple of guys perform some martial arts in the midst of a conflict zone but hey, it's a silly action movie after all. I kind of liked the tournament aspect of the movie and would have been fine with it if the entire movie got centered around it but the movie itself had different plans. It's not like the movie becomes worse to watch once the gunfights become more prevalent but it just doesn't go very well with the earlier tone and settings of the movie. Having said that, the gunfights are pretty well handled as well. It was actually good to see how the movie wasn't holding back with its violence and the movie actually is a pretty bloody and brutal one to watch at parts.

Everything else about the movie is pretty weak unfortunately. It's not entirely unexpected that the story isn't a very impressive or well written one. What's worse though is that certain aspects within it just don't work out at all. For instance the whole romance and more dramatic angles seem like a big waste and don't work out at all. The movie does an incredibly poor job handling any emotions, which maybe isn't just the writing but can also be blamed on the acting.

One of the things the movie also is lacking is a decent enough main villain. The movie instead features a whole bunch of 'small' villains, without a clear 'big' and main one. The villains in the movie are all pretty good and fun but none of them have a big enough impact on the movie and its main story.

It also seems like a big waste how this movie is supposed to be set in 1959 instead of modern times. It sounds like a cool and original enough idea but it in fact adds absolutely nothing to the story and movie doesn't even ever look or feel like it's set in the '50's. The look and style of the movie is far too slick and modern for that, which normally wouldn't be a complaint of course but in this case it somewhat is. Other than that I appreciate the movie for being such a good and professional looking one, though it's still far from perfect and has a couple of 'cheap' looking moments in it.

But really, if you're into simple and fun B-action movies this one still remains a pretty watchable and good enough one for you to watch. It's definitely a tad bit better than the average modern genre attempt and Scott Adkins always is good to watch in these type of things.

5/10

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Slasher.com (2017) Directed by Chip Gubera




This sounds like one of these high-tech, modern horror flicks, featuring an Internet angle to it but it in fact is merely just another formulaic, 'old fashioned' slasher, set in the woods. This is a good and bad thing at the same time. Good because high-tech horror flicks are usually terrible and absolute cringe-worthy ones but bad because it also means that the movie has very little new to offer.

It's sort of funny how the fact that the two main characters met online is totally irrelevant to the story. "Slasher.com"? Just a hip and original sounding movie title for a slasher, just don't get fooled by it.

In a way I'm also still glad that the movie is more of a straightforward and simplistic slasher. Genre movies from the '70's and '80's also never were the most original or complicated ones but at least they often were still fun to watch. It usually are some entertaining movies, thanks to its creative killings and crazy concepts. This movie is no different, with as an only problem that it just isn't a very well made movie.

A low-budget shouldn't necessarily be a restraint for a slasher and it can actually benefit from it but in this case the movie is just a tad bit too cheap and amateur-like looking. Not just the camera-work but also the editing, the special effects, the sound-quality, the music, the acting. It's all below average, which unsurprisingly so also turns this into a below average genre attempt to watch.

Another problem with the movie also really is that nothing comes as a surprise. It attempts to throw in some twists here and there but the thing about them is that you can see them coming from a mile away already, due to the way how things get build up within the story and are handled by its actors. It's even annoying how this movie plays out as you would expect and brings absolutely nothing new or remotely surprising to the table.

Guess I still somewhat like the movie for being more old fashioned than all hip and modern but I just really can't call it a very successful- or good one to watch as well.

4/10

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Robot Wars (2016) Directed by William L. Stewart




No real robots or wars in this movie. So why is it named that way? Because it sounds cool of course!

Maybe the movie doesn't have the most original or revolutionary concept but its a concept that works out well for the movie Its approach ensures that the movie is a good one to watch, for most part anyway. It's an action movie that's shot entirely from a POV-perspective, which definitely makes the movie feel and look like a video-game. It lets the low-budget and simplistic action still seem somewhat good and spectacular. It keeps the movie going and somewhat entertaining to watch as well.

But it's not like the movie has much more to offer though. The story is really secondary, which isn't always necessarily a bad thing for an action-flick but it in this case makes the movie a bit of a tiresome and repetitive one to watch. As a matter of fact, I can't even tell you what its story is supposed to be all about. It's just that messy and/or nonexistent at parts. It never seems to play much of a role in the movie. It's approach also results in it that things aren't ever given the room or time to develop and the story to progress in an engaging and natural way.

I'm sure of it that the movie must have been lots of fun to make though. The actors must have had lots of fun running- and shooting around in futuristic dystopian settings but it's unfortunate that the movie itself isn't half as fun to watch as well. In the long run it really isn't offering enough to keep you interested in it and it isn't doing anything truly surprising or spectacular to make this a very memorable experience.

In a way I still admire the movie. It features a pretty decent concept and idea behind it and all things considering; it's still a pretty well made movie. Sure, its low-budget is obvious all throughout but that didn't stop the movie from trying to be as creative and 'realistic' as possible. I didn't all quite work out very well but I admire the attempt and also have to say that it's a tad bit better than just the average, cheap, genre attempt, that tries to combine action and science-fiction elements.

Not a great movie by any means but still somewhat watchable.

4/10

Asylum of Darkness (2017) Directed by Jay Woelfel




Some movies are just too full of itself. What sounds and seems like a straightforward and formulaic enough genre flick actually attempts to be something completely different, which in this case works out quite disastrously.

The movie starts off good and 'normal' enough. I was actually quite liking the movie at first. Sure, it seemed like a typical horror movie, set inside an asylum but it also seemed to have plenty of originality in it and a good enough style of its own. Well, the style actually rapidly became the movie its biggest problem however. The movie completely derails after the fist 10 minutes, when the movie suddenly decides to be all 'style' and very little little 'substance'. Things become messy and unappealing to watch.

Seems that Jay Woelfel have seen one or two too many David Lynch movies. But watching movies doesn't make you an expert on making movies though. It's not a particularly thought provoking or clever movie with any of its themes or story developments. The movie just simply muddles on, without ever heading into a clear direction with anything. Guess point of the movie is to give you a look inside the mind of an insane person but when a movie doesn't handle anything in an interesting enough way, there simply is very little to enjoy.

The movie in fact is way worse then I'm making it sound right now. It's just a complete- unappealing mess that offers absolutely nothing. It's not fun, it's not interesting, it's not exciting. It's annoying and hard to watch instead. Even probably impossible to finish for most people, also especially considering its running time, which is way too long.

Who knows, maybe this movie still could have worked out, if only it got done by a more capable director and with a bigger budget available. The low budget of the movie is pretty apparent. The movie lacks a good and professional enough look and feel to it. The sets, the costumes, the makeup. It's all just a tad bit too amateur-like looking, which definitely does take you out of the movie at times. But well, that's not too big of a problem, since it's hard to get into the movie in the first place.

Just don't watch it.

3/10

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Altitude (2017) Directed by Alex Merkin




Just because this is a low-budget- and B-flick people are no doubt going to hate on it and make fun of it but is it honestly such a bad and ridicules movie? I really don't think so. It's good at what it attempts to be and it does what it's supposed to do, in an honestly well handled way.

For some reason I never ever though I would see Denise Richards and Dolph Lundgren in a movie together. It's such an odd mismatch on paper but it definitely works out well within the film. They hardly have any scenes together anyway and it's refreshing to see Lundgren in a bit-part- and villainous role for a change again. Nothing too impressive, just good and fun to watch. Another surprising thing is that here you have a B-action movie starring Dolph Lundgren, yet it's the never-aging Denise Richards who plays the lead role and handles most of the action. It makes the movie a bit different from the usual genre attempt, in a good way.

Not that this is an action packed movie but it definitely is a fast paced one, that always has something going on in it. It's not the most original or compelling story but it's a well handled one, with plenty of tension, good enough characters, interesting elements and action moments in it. Honestly, I never felt remotely bored or annoyed with this movie, despite of course being ridicules and over-the-top at parts.

Because of its settings the low-budget never becomes too apparent, or distracting I should say. It cleverly makes use of its limitations but placing the 90% of the movie aboard a plane, without ever falling into repetition. Sure, some of the special effects are terrible looking but overall the movie still has a good and professional looking style to it. Nothing clumsy about the action and its professional approach ensures that the movie works out well within its genre. I'm really convinced lovers of cheap and silly B-action flicks are going to enjoy this movie, at least as much as I did.

It's not a great movie by any means but it's a pretty good one to simply have a good time with. Nothing too terrible about it. Just a pretty well done and acted out low-budget action-flick, that offers plenty of (simple) entertainment.

5/10

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Abbey Grace (2016) Directed by Stephen Durham




It's true that in a way all horror movies are the same and that especially goes for low-budget ones. Instead of creative and original, most movies are too much alike, without having anything in them that makes them standout. And sometimes that still fine, as long as the movie is a well done genre attempt. This however more often than not isn't the case with these low-budget productions, with this movie unfortunately as no exception.

It's hard to tell what's worse about this film; the story or the execution. Both are incredibly problematic, which makes this a below average genre attempt. And calling this movie 'below average' is still generous. It in a lot of ways is worse than that, which can't all be simply blamed on just its limited budget.

The movie is terribly made, with an awful pace, acting and handling of all the horror ingredients in it. The movie fails at creating any good tension and mystery, which sure is mostly due to its writing but also most definitely to the poor handling. The editing, camera-work and directing genuinely ruin some of the 'scare moments' and the very little potential the movie still had in it. It's actually a quite laughable movie at parts, to be honest. Some of the effects, for instance, are quite good, while some of the others are absolutely horrendous and unintentionally funny. Needless to say it takes away most credibility, tension and scares from the movie.

Main problem with the story, besides from not making an awful lot of sense, is that for the longest time there is no clear threat and/or 'villain'. But once the story kicks in, things don't get much better for the movie. It's messy, nonsensical and far from anything remotely surprising or original. It doesn't help much that the main characters are terribly written. One of the characters actually comes across as a creep, rather than a sympathetic one. Hard to say whether this was deliberate or not but in any case, it just doesn't work out very well for the movie. It's also odd how the two main characters are supposed to be brother and sister, while they look absolutely nothing alike and have little to no chemistry. Terrible casting. None of the actors also never seem genuinely scared at anything, so why should the viewers be?

Once you look back at things, the movie really doesn't become much better. The whole haunting aspect doesn't make a lot of sense but to be fair, it rarely does. I mean, if ghosts can push people and appear at random, than surely they should also be able to communicate and tell what they want, without being so darn cryptic and annoying all of the time.

Really not worth seeing, not even if you're really into the genre.

3/10

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